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April 08, 2015

New Release of Guidalberto and Le Difese 2013

guidalberto

Following on from our Sassicaia 2012 offer, we are pleased to offer Guidalberto, the second wine of Sassicaia at a 24% discount to the 2011 and 2012 release price; a price of £15.80 in bond, or £21.46 a bottle duty and VAT paid. This represents incredible value considering Guidalberto’s grapes are grown in the vineyards of Sassicaia and the wine made by their winemakers. In fact in most vintages about 20% of the wine consists of declassified barrels of Sassicaia. The 2013 on release is the best priced Guidalberto on the market, with the 2011 and 2012 trading at £125 a case if six. In addition, we can also offer the the third wine of Tenuta San Guido for £60 per case of six bottles, £10 a bottle in bond, or £14.46 duty and VAT paid.

As always these wines are released a year ahead of Sassicaia due to the fact they undergo a shorter ageing process and are made to be consumed earlier, although Guidalberto will taste very well in ten years time. James Suckling has already tasted Guidalberto 2013 scoring it 92 points describing it as ’Extremely attractive aromas of plums, light berries, and milk chocolate with just a hint of earthy spice.’ The 2013 vintage in Tuscany will be known for its ripeness and balanced elegance. The early growing season’s temperatures were below average and the plants developed slowly until July when temperatures reached their zenith. The weather was outstanding in August and September and picking began from mid-September. Both wines have less alcohol than usual and embody a perfumed balanced style, although – of course – ripe and rich.

The name Guidalberto, introduced in 2000, was inspired by the current proprietor’s great great great grandfather, Guidalberto della Gheradesca. The wine was created for two reasons; the Estate’s desire to accomplish success with Merlot (a grape that they do not use in Sassicaia) and to create a wine which could be enjoyed younger than their ‘veteran Sassicaia’.

Guidalberto is aged for 15 months in French oak barriques, with a small element of American oak and then three months in bottle before being released onto the market. Guidalberto’s blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Sassicaia’s is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc but aged for 24 months in French barrique and six months in bottle.

Le Difese Tenuta San Guido is the superb third wine of Sassicaia and fashioned in its image; grown in the same Estate but heralding from younger vine plots or grapes that did not make the Grand Vin blend. Le Difese contains 30% Sangiovese taken from plots the Estate is experimenting with. They therefore, take advantage of the great terroir and climate of Bolgheri and the exceptional technology and winemaking techniques of the Estate.

Fruit for Le Difese is selected from Tenuta San Guido’s younger vines, many of which will one day be used to make Sassicaia. The blend is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Sangiovese, a powerful heady mix which combines the pedigree of Sassicaia’s Cabernet Sauvignon with lovely plots of Sangiovese. The vineyard plots are planted in soils with different morphological characteristics and they have a strong presence of limestone. The vineyard is rich in clay and rocks and located from 80 to 300 metres above sea level, facing east and south east.

Le Difese benefits from all the aspects that make Sassicaia great, it is just a younger less intense version. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats and maceration lasts for 12 days for both varietals. The wine is then aged for 12 months in French and American oak barrique, again using some barrels previously used for Sassicaia, and then a further three months in bottle. The result is extraordinary given its £15.60 all-inclusive price tag. It displays succulent blackberry, bilberry and cassis, however it is clearly the sibling of Sassicaia, displaying its tell-tale leather, tobacco, smoke, delightful dried cherry and earthiness. This is a super-ripe wine, with notes of eucalyptus and mint chocolate. Tasted blind this would make a fool of most tasters.

Guidalberto 2013, 6×75 and 3×150 - £95 IB or £128.76 duty and VAT 
James Suckling 92 Points, tasted March 5th, 2015
Extremely attractive aromas of plums, light berries, and milk chocolate with just a hint of earthy spice. Currants too. Full body, soft integrated tannins and a smooth textured finish. Delicious to drink now or hold. Consistently outstanding quality.

Le Difese 2013, 6×75 – £60 IB or £86.76 duty and VAT
It displays succulent blackberry, bilberry and cassis, however it is clearly the sibling of Sassicaia, displaying its tell-tale leather, tobacco, smoke, delightful dried cherry and earthiness. This is a super-ripe wine, with notes of eucalyptus and mint chocolate.  IG Wines

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